48 hours after the Otic Oasis crew entered the Man Base to build the Pistil, the last of a tirad of finials atop the piece were put into place. The Pistil is composed of Gregg Fleishman’s interlocking wooden pieces and it spans most of the middle of the Man Pavilion, climbing up to just below where the Man stands above over the open oculus. It’s an elegant sculpture that swirls around in a series of modules connected by stairways with a flowing symmetry suggesting both a honeycomb and very much this year’s theme of Fertility.
The crew climbed all over the sculpture working, and as the last pistil top was lowered, there were many deft fingers in there making adjustments, with bodies intertwined, twisting and raising the graceful piece into place. When the node slid down to a stop there was applause. Then one by one, curved vertical pieces were inserted and pins placed, then each crew member took a turn knocking the pins into place with their mallets. It was all very deliberate and with the absence of power tools, it seemed very ritualistic and beautiful to behold.
With the last whack of Flow’s mallet, the Man Pavilion filled with applause and hearty cheers. Gregg Fleishman was smiling calmly and surveying the place as rows of balconies were lined with photographers and videographers and others all clapping at what the Otic Crew just completed. Lightning, Syn, Trudi, Scott, Carlos, Carmen, Flow and the entire crew beamed and Syn said they were honored to have been part of that “seminal moment “when the DPW, Man Base and Art Department invited Otic Oasis to erect the piece. She also pointed out the picture of Rod Garrett that now hangs on the balcony inside the Man Pavilion and repeated how grateful they were to be in this place.
Crimson remarked that Otic Oasis and The Pistil has transformed the Pavilion into an extension of all the art on the playa this year and Bettie June said the DPW set the Golden Spike and that Otic Oasis had “established a spiritual epicenter over the Golden Spike that will allow thousands of participants to experience all their joy, art and energy.
Congratulations were made all around and the crew on the ground then ascended the stairs into the Pistil and climbed all over it for a “stress test” as Lightening said, “It’ll fit all of you and more.” Much merriment ensued, and Syn suggested they all MOOP and get their tools out of there as agreed so the crew went to work. The finishing ceremony was perfectly still and clear of dust however, just then as they carried out the 1/6 scale model of Pistil I’d seen back at the Otic Camp when I placed them a week or so ago, a big dust picked up and a white out moved through the Man Pavilion as if to punctuate the whole experience and remind us just how fleeting and precious moments like these are and how important it is to cherish them.
all photos portaplaya